COLUMBUS, Ohio - Rhonda Porter and other Akron school officials recently had a battle on their hands with a group of girls fighting and threatening each other.
All of it on the kik smartphone application, with no real names for any of the participants and all out of the school's control.
But unlike other addictions, this one isn't officially recognized.Porter, a lawyer for the Akron school district said the constant flare-ups of bullying, threats and unwanted messages from potential predators are "eye-opening." She said district officials are constantly intervening, even putting up "cyber-fences" around schools to block unwanted messages to kids.So she and Christina Hagen-Peer, a lawyer with Walter Haverfield, have started telling parents, teachers and administrators about what they consider the 10 most "dangerous" phone apps to children's emotional and physical safety.The number of certified sex-addiction therapists has more than doubled since 2008, according to the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals.Hookup apps like Tinder (26 million matches per day) and Grindr (1.6 million active daily users) are growing wildly and multiplying, like real-life manifestations of the futuristic smartphone imagined by Gary Shteyngart in which rates the "Fuckability" of everyone around you. A constant presence on Google Play and the App Store’s top apps charts, it’s one of the first apps you’ll download when you buy a new phone and almost certainly your biggest source of notification on a typical day.